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Published: 2 April 2012

Eleven per cent of suspects of offences were foreign citizens in 2011

According to data published by Statistics Finland, the number of persons suspected of the offences solved in 2011 by the police, customs and border guard was 303,000, of whom 35,000 were citizens of foreign countries. Compared with the previous year, the number of all suspects remained nearly unchanged, while the number of foreign citizens suspected increased by nearly three per cent. Over the past ten years, the number of foreign suspects has been 22,000, on average. In 2011 Estonians made up the biggest group of foreign suspects, numbering 9,100. Suspects were citizens of 148 different countries.

Foreign citizens suspected of offences by place of residence in 2009-2011

Foreign citizens suspected of offences by place of residence in 2009-2011

Among the offences solved in 2011, 43 per cent of the suspected foreign citizens were living permanently in Finland. The respective proportion has remained almost unchanged over the past year. Foreign suspects living in Finland were slightly younger than Finnish suspects were. Their average age was 30 years, while that of Finnish suspects was 32 years. Typical offences by foreigners living in Finland were theft, assault and drunken driving offences.

In the statistics the same person can be a suspect several times. Data on the nationality of suspects and on whether they are permanently resident in Finland or not are based on the nationality data derived from the police and those selected by means of the personal identity code from the population data. The group 'no permanent place of residence in Finland' is in that sense problematic, because it may include persons staying longer periods in Finland without applying for a permanent place of residence here. The group may also include persons suspected of a narcotics offence, for example, who have come to Finland only for the purpose of committing a crime.

Suspects of solved offences living in Finland by age and nationality in 2011

Age groups Suspects living
permanently in Finland
Share per 1,000
population in the age group
Finnish residents    Foreign citizens Finnish residents Foreign citizens
Total        264 726 14 991 51 82
     –14        11 494 600 13 22
15–17   23 234 891 124 184
18–20  31 270 1 325 159 225
21–24       33 475 2 313 132 182
25–29     39 238 2 772 123 110
30–34     31 857 2 308 101 90
35–39 23 448 1 767 78 85
40–49 37 909 2 172 55 72
50–59    22 127 666 30 38
60–69       8 438 138 12 19
 70–       2 236 39 3 7

In 2011, a total of 458,000 offences were recorded by the police, customs and border guard. The number was 27,000 higher than one year previously. In addition, 505,000 cases of endangerment of traffic safety and traffic offences were recorded, which is of the same magnitude as in the previous year.

The presentation of the statistics was revised as of the beginning of 2009. Endangerment of traffic safety and traffic offences are separated from other offences and they are presented in a separate table. The total number of offences is comparable with earlier figures, because the same division has also been made retrospectively until 1980. The aim of the revision is to improve the comparability of offences between different years and enhance their international comparability. The quality description of the statistics contains annually more detailed information about revisions but it is regrettably only published in Finnish.

From the beginning of 2009, included are also offences recorded by the customs and border guard. The change has not much effect on the comparability of offences. Of the most common types of offences the change primarily affects the comparability of narcotics offences.

Source: Offences known to the police 2011. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Jorma Kallio 09 1734 3248, Marja Kivimäki 09 1734 3252,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Appendix tables

Updated 2.4.2012

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Offences known to the police [e-publication].
ISSN=2242-7953. 2011. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 26.2.2024].
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